For nearly a decade now, Microsoft has been fighting an uphill battle in Japan trying to get the locals interested in the Xbox. It hasn't worked. And in 2011, for the first time, the strain of that battle may be starting to show.
In previous years, Microsoft has had a huge presence at the Tokyo Game Show, with enormous booths to rival those of Sony, Square Enix and Capcom and a ton of games on hand to woo the locals over.
This year? The booth was seriously downsized, some large Kinect demo stations masking the fact that there were nowhere near as many systems to play on as in the past (there was, however, still a good variety of titles). The booth was also shunted away to a corner of the showroom floor instead of the prominent locations it's occupied in the past.
It's not like the Xbox 360, a console kicking arse in other parts of the world, is dead in Japan. But the reduction in both scale and interest we've seen this year certainly doesn't look terribly healthy, either. Here's hoping it's just a blip and Microsoft can bounce back next year.